March 26th, St. Augustine, FL -- Bobby Gill, defending 1999 USAR Hooters ProCup champion, rolled to victory last night in the Jackaroo Sauces 250 at Florida Speed Park. Gill, who was victorious in the ProCup's last visit in November, became the ...
March 26th, St. Augustine, FL -- Bobby Gill, defending 1999 USAR Hooters ProCup champion, rolled to victory last night in the Jackaroo Sauces 250 at Florida Speed Park. Gill, who was victorious in the ProCup's last visit in November, became the series first repeat winner at the fast paved half mile.
Mario Gosselin raised the bar with his St. Augustine record qualifying effort, taking the pole in front of Gill and Mart Nesbitt. Gill quickly made his way in front of Gosselin on the first lap and held the lead for the next 98 laps before pitting and taking on fuel and tires with the rest of the leaders. Gill passed Gosselin again, regaining the lead on lap 152 and held on for the victory. Gosselin ended the night second and Nesbitt finished where he started in third.
"We practiced on old tires all day and really didn't know what would happen with new tires," said Gill. "We are pleased to get the win but we still have a long way to go this season."
In Rick's Muffler Modified action, a confident Jimmy Britts traded the pole position for an eighth place start and a possible $250 8 Ball bonus. For 29 of the scheduled 30 laps it appeared that Britts would fall short in his charging bid as a hooked up Russ Miscally, who captured the outside pole position, settled into a comfortable lead.
However, midway through the last lap, Miscally's #2 lost a piston, sending Britts to a fortunate yet well-earned second consecutive Modified victory and the second driver in as many weeks to claim the 8 Ball Challenge.
"I didn't have anything for Miscally tonight," said a thankful Britts in Victory Lane. Miscally would have to settle for a 10th place finish.
The last lap also provided the fans with some fireworks as Jon Compagnone and Mark Bergman got tangled heading into turn four battling for the fourth spot. Compagnone would end up with the better end of the deal, escaping the melee and claiming his hold on fourth, while Bergman's #17 spun, putting him 9th.
Jason Lowe, in only his third race following a two-year absence brought on by a freak bicycle accident and resulting severe head injury, turned in a strong evening with a second place finish. Jared Allison followed in third. Chuck Cumby, narrowly avoiding the last lap action in turn four, placed fifth.
Lowe, whose brother Mike competes in the speedway's Thunder Truck division, described earlier in the day the circumstances of his bicycle injury and subsequent rehabilitation period.
"I was riding my bicycle a short distance at night in very familiar territory," said Lowe in an interview with Mike Dempsey on WFOY 1240 AM's "Speed Park Spotlight" show. "I rode right into a construction hole. Next thing I know I'm in a hospital."
Lowe, who was not wearing a bicycle safety helmet at the time, defied his doctors' prognoses and returned to the sport that he has embraced since he was a three-year-old. He now champions the cause and regularly promotes the use of safety helmets.
All six local racing divisions return to action Saturday, April 1st, along with a visit from the master of speedway antics, Speedo the Clown.
Race Night Finishing Order:
Rick's Muffler Modifieds
1. Jimmy Britts
2. Jason Lowe
3. Jared Allison
4. Jon Compagnone
5. Chuck Cumby
6. John Galbraith
7. Wesley Moore
8. Marc Kinley
9. Mark Bergman
10. Russ Miscally
11. David Linquist
12. Chester Mayes